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[uh-cheev] /əˈtʃiv/
verb (used with object), achieved, achieving.
to bring to a successful end; carry through; accomplish:
The police crackdown on speeders achieved its purpose.
to get or attain by effort; gain; obtain:
to achieve victory.
verb (used without object), achieved, achieving.
to bring about an intended result; accomplish some purpose or effect.
Origin of achieve
1275-1325; Middle English acheven < Old French achever to finish, from phrase a chef to (the) head (i.e., to conclusion). See chief
Related forms
achievable, adjective
achiever, noun
outachieve, verb (used with object), outachieved, outachieving
preachieved, adjective
superachiever, noun
unachievable, adjective
unachieved, adjective
well-achieved, adjective
1. consummate, complete; effect, execute; realize, reach. See do1 . 2. realize, win. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for achievable
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But with such stability the expansion and balanced growth of international trade is not achievable.

    After the Rain Sam Vaknin
  • Everything is possible; but without labour and failure nothing is achievable.

    David Elginbrod George MacDonald
  • Only by the possession of treasures these things are achievable, therefore it is laudable in man to strive after wealth.

    Fairy Tales From all Nations Anthony R. Montalba
  • There was not much of the night left in which to sleep, even had a semblance of sleep been achievable.

    The Glimpses of the Moon Edith Wharton
  • It was inconceivable that it could be the practical and achievable cunning of military bullies and strategists.

    Out To Win Coningsby Dawson
British Dictionary definitions for achievable


verb (transitive)
to bring to a successful conclusion; accomplish; attain
to gain as by hard work or effort: to achieve success
Derived Forms
achievable, adjective
achiever, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French achever to bring to an end, from the phrase a chef to a head, to a conclusion
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for achievable



early 14c., from Old French achever (12c.) "to finish, accomplish, complete," from phrase à chef (venir) "at an end, finished," or Vulgar Latin *accapare, from Late Latin ad caput (venire); both the French and Late Latin phrases meaning literally "to come to a head," from stem of Latin caput "head" (see capitulum).

The Lat. caput, towards the end of the Empire, and in Merov[ingian] times, took the sense of an end, whence the phrase ad caput venire, in the sense of to come to an end .... Venire ad caput naturally produced the Fr. phrase venir à chef = venir à bout. ... From this chief, O.Fr. form of chef (q.v.) in sense of term, end, comes the Fr. compd. achever = venir à chef, to end, finish. [Auguste Brachet, "An Etymological Dictionary of the French Language," transl. G.W. Kitchin, Oxford, 1878]
Related: Achieved; achieving.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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